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Quatuor Ébène

string quartet
Biography

“We need the inspiration by the audience.” said Raphaël Merlin in an interview with the NZZ in Spring 2020, this was one of the central ideas of their “Beethoven Around the World” project. Between May 2019 and January 2020 the quartet recorded Beethoven’s 16 string quartets in a worldwide project on 6 continents. With this complete recording, the four at once celebrated their 20th stage anniversary, which they then crowned with performances of the complete string quartet cycle in major European venues such as the Philharmonie de Paris or the Alte Oper Frankfurt. Invitations from Carnegie Hall New York, the Verbier Festival and the Vienna Konzerthaus were also on the agenda. ​

After studies with the Quatuor Ysaÿe in Paris as well as with Gábor Takács, Eberhard Feltz and György Kurtág, the unprecedented and outstanding success at the 2004 ARD Music Competition followed, marking the beginning of the Quatuor Ébène’s rise to fame, which resulted in numerous other prizes and awards. For example: In 2005 the quartet was awarded the Belmont Prize of the Forberg-Schneider Foundation, in 2007 it was prizewinner of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, and in 2019 – as first ensemble ever – it was honored with the Frankfurt Music Prize.

In addition to the traditional repertoire, the quartet also dives into other styles (“A string quartet that can easily morph into a jazz band” New York Times, 2009). What began in 1999 as a distraction in the university’s practice rooms – improvising on jazz standards & pop songs – has become a trademark of Quatuor Ébène. To date the quartet has released 3 albums in these genres, Fiction (2010), Brazil (2014) and Eternal Stories (2017). The free approach to various styles creates a tension that is beneficial to every aspect of their artistic work. The complexity of their oeuvre has been greeted enthusiastically by audiences and critisc. ​

Quatuor Ébène’s albums, with recordings of Bartók, Beethoven, Debussy, Haydn, Fauré and the Mendelssohn siblings, have received numerous awards, including Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine and the Midem Classic Award. In 2015 & 2016 the musicians have dedicated themselves to the theme “Lied”. They participated in the album “Green (Mélodies françaises)” by Philippe Jaroussky and released a Schubert album with Matthias Goerne (arrangements for string quartet, baritone and double bass by Raphaël Merlin) and the Schubert String Quintet with Gautier Capuçon.

With their charismatic playing, their fresh approach to tradition and their open engagement with new forms, the musicians haven been successful in reaching a wide audience of young listeners and in conveying their talent in regular master classes at the Paris Convervatoire.


Streaming
24 November 2020 AMATIS TRIO, BATIASHVILI
Ideas
Zoom-in on Lisa Batiashvili Pt. II
13 October 2020 AMATIS TRIO, BATIASHVILI
Ideas
Zoom-in on Lisa Batiashvili Pt. I
02 May 2020 QUATUOR ÉBÈNE & SIGEL
Ideas
Beethoven: The Interpreters Ep. 1
25 July 2018 VERBIER FESTIVAL
Concerts
The Verbier Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary — Part 2
28 July 2013 VERBIER FESTIVAL
Concerts
The Verbier Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary
17 July 2013 QUATUOR ÉBÈNE
Concerts
The Ébène Quartet plays Haydn & Mendelssohn
17 July 2013 QUATUOR ÉBÈNE, HELMERSON
Concerts
Quatuor Ébène plays Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major – With Frans Helmerson
19 July 2011 TAKÁCS-NAGY, VOGT
Concerts
Takács-Nagy & Vogt perform Mozart & Beethoven
18 July 2011 BATIASHVILI & SIGEL
Ideas
Violinist Lisa Batiashvili speaks to Charles Sigel
16 July 2011 LARS VOGT
Concerts
Lars Vogt plays Janáček, Schubert, & Beethoven
17 July 2010 ANGELICH, QUATUOR ÉBÈNE
Concerts
Nicholas Angelich & the Quatuor Ébène play Franck & Beethoven
01 August 2008 QUATUOR ÉBÈNE
Concerts
Quatuor Ébène plays Schubert & Mozart
31 July 2007 LARS VOGT
Concerts
Lars Vogt plays Schubert & Brahms